Major pension fund-backed offshore wind farm set for official launch

Walney project shows role of institutional investors

A £1bn (€1.2bn), 367MW offshore wind farm backed by Dutch pension investment giant PGGM is being officially opened today.
The 102-turbine Walney facility off the coast of Cumbria in northern England, reputedly the world’s largest offshore wind farm, is being opened by new Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey.
The project – which can supply up to 320,000 households a year with renewable power – is a joint venture between Denmark-based DONG Energy, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and the OPW joint venture consisting of PGGM, the pension provider with €115bn in assets, and the Triodos-run Ampere Equity Fund. OPW took just under 25% of the project in December 2010.

“This investment in clean energy is aligned with the ESG [environmental, social and governance] criteria in the investment policy for our clients and investors andfurther cements our focus on expanding Renewable Energy as asset class,” said Dennis van Alphen, senior investment manager at PGGM and a director of OPW.

Walney is the first UK offshore wind farm to receive investment from a pension fund before construction.
DONG said this shows that institutional investors are “willing to invest in well-structured offshore wind projects alongside market leading industry participants”.

“This investment in clean energy is aligned with our ESG investment criteria”

“Walney is a landmark in offshore wind and DONG Energy’s strong drive to further industrialise offshore wind power and cut costs,” said DONG CEO Anders Eldrup.